Baseball Falls to Dartmouth, 5-2

Courtesy of Dartmouth Sports Information

HANOVER, N.H. — The Amherst baseball team fell to 7-4 on the season, falling to Division I Dartmouth College, 5-2, in its final tune-up before its NESCAC opener against Hamilton this weekend.

Dartmouth junior Chris O'Dowd drove in a pair of runs, while the Big Green pitching staff took a no-hitter into the sixth inning to help snap a six-game skid. Improving to 3-10 overall on the year, Dartmouth extended its home winning streak to 25, the longest among Division I teams.

The Big Green jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Amherst starter Hayden Metz '12 (Ridgefield, Conn.) walked two batters after retiring the lead-off hitter. Sophomore Dustin Selzer yanked a pitch inside the third-base bag, scoring Thomas Roulis '15 from second, and one out later, O'Dowd legged out an infield hit to enable junior Ennis Coble to cross the plate.

In the fourth, Dartmouth tacked on a run without the aid of a hit. Nick Lombardi '15 was plunked by a pitch, then moved to second when senior David Turnbull watched ball four go by. After a sacrifice by senior Jake Carlson, senior Joe Sclafani lofted a deep drive to left, allowing Lombardi to trot home for a 3-0 lead.

A Lord Jeff error in the fifth proved to be costly when Selzer scored from first with two out on O'Dowd's double into the right-field corner. When Lombardi was hit by another pitch, Amherst summoned Adam Medoff '13 (San Francisco, Calif.) from the bullpen. The Lord Jeffs nearly escaped without further damage when shortstop Taiki Kasuga '14 (New York, N.Y.) dove for a Turnbull grounder up the middle, but his throw to first was a hair late as Turnbull collected an infield hit, and Carlson walked to force in the fifth Big Green run.

Dartmouth first-year Adam Frank needed just 10 pitches to retire the Lord Jeffs in order in the first, before sophomore Louis Concato pitched two scoreless innings, surrendering just one walk while fanning two. Marco Mariscal '12 and Kyle Hunter '13 both sat down all three hitters they faced, keeping Amherst hitless through five innings.

Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 (Charlottesville, Va.) recorded the first hit for the visitors leading off the sixth against senior reliever Max Langford, but was promptly wiped out on a double play. Langford tossed two shutout innings, yielding three hits and a walk, but also struck out four to equal a career best.

In the eighth, first-year Chris England made his collegiate debut for the Big Green on the mound, but was replaced by Mike Dodakian '14 with one out and the bases loaded. Dodakian fanned the first batter he faced, but Mike Samela '12 (Wesport, Conn.) singled just beyond the infielders on the right side to drive in a pair of runs. After another single again loaded the bases, sophomore left fielder Ryan Toimil tracked down a long foul fly for the third out.

Although Dodakian got into trouble in the ninth when the first two batters reached base, he settled in and retired the final three hitters to earn his first save of the year. Frank (1-1) was credited with the win after pitching his one scheduled inning and departing with a 2-0 lead.

O'Dowd finished the day 2-for-3 with a single and a double, each of which plated a run. Joining O'Dowd with two hits was Selzer, who smacked a pair of doubles with an RBI in five trips to the plate. As a team, Dartmouth collected only seven hits on the afternoon, but also drew a season-high seven walks.

Saunders-Kolberg went 1-for-2, while Brendon Hardin was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Samela finished 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Kasuga, Bob Cook '13 (Winnetka, Ill.), Thomas Wheeler '12 (Minnetonka, Minn.), Dan Pillitteri '13 (New City, N.Y.) and Alex Hero '14 (New York, N.Y.) accounted for the rest of the Jeffs' eight hits.

Metz surrendered five runs on five hits in four and two thirds innings to drop to 0-4 on the year, while Medoff and Dylan Joyce '12 (South Orange, N.J.) combined to throw three and a third scoreless innings in relief, allowing just two hits and striking out five.